We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But while many of us give this mealtime our full attention over the weekends, weekday breakfasts don’t get the same love. Here are seven ideas for quick morning meals that are nutritious and filling without sacrificing flavour.
Breakfast wraps are quick and easy. Switch on your oven grill and lay a wholewheat wrap flat on a baking tray. Sprinkle some cheese and any bits and pieces in your fridge that would go well with egg. (Think leftover tomato pasta sauce or leftover sautéed mushrooms with some crumbled feta.) Crack an egg onto the toppings and slide the tray under the grill. Watch closely as the egg cooks and the wraps warms, and when the egg is cooked to your liking, remove from the oven and switch off the grill. Fold the wrap in half, then in half again, and enjoy!
For a sweet version, spread peanut butter on a wrap, then either your favourite jam or a drizzle of honey, followed by a sliced banana or a handful of berries. Roll the wrap up and you’re ready to go. Other variations include using a different nut butter or chocolate-nut spread, or adding sprinkles of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, granola, and whatever else takes your fancy. Try these Mexican-style wraps or lettuce, mango and mozzarella wraps.
Overnight oats, otherwise known as Bircher muesli, is an über healthy breakfast option. Soaked in liquid overnight, the oats soften and can be spiced up with all sorts of mix-ins. While the traditional soaking liquid is milk, a good variation is orange juice: soak 1/3 cup of quick-cooking oats in 1/2 cup of orange juice overnight. The next morning, add a few tablespoons of yoghurt, a drizzle of honey, and whatever fruit and/or nuts take your fancy. If you soak your oats in a glass jar, you can mix in your toppings in the morning, screw the lid on, and have a transportable breakfast. Try this bircher muesli recipe with coconut, pistachios and berries.
Adventurous eaters could try a savoury Asian-inspired noodle breakfast using quick-cooking rice noodles. Place a cup of water in a small pot along with a generous few dashes of soy sauce, hot sauce and, if you like, some lemon or lime juice. Place the pot over high heat until it starts to boil and add some noodles. Lower the heat and simmer the noodles for a few minutes, then break an egg into the broth and simmer for a further few minutes until the egg is as cooked to your preference. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and enjoy. You can play with this base and add seasoning like dashi stock, or add toppings like coriander leaves and spring onion slivers.
For a microwave version of French toast, take some time over the weekend to bake your favourite savoury bread or savoury muffin recipe baked in a loaf tin for longer at a slightly lower heat. Slice the loaf and freeze it. The evening before you want the French toast, remove a slice from the freezer and pop it in the fridge to defrost overnight. Dip the bread in a beaten egg and microwave the egg-soaked bread on an oven-sprayed plate for two to three minutes. Add whatever condiments you like, and breakfast is served. (Here’s how to make the old fashioned version in case you’re a stickler.)
Another thinking-ahead breakfast idea is to make a big stack of your favourite flapjacks over the weekend and freeze them. During the week, simply remove two flapjacks from the freezer, pop them into the toaster, and eat them warm, sandwiched together with peanut butter, jam or honey.
This breakfast is good for you, but still seems indulgent: In a large mug, combine a heaped scoop of protein powder, a teaspoon of cocoa powder, a teaspoon of honey, a heaped tablespoon of wholewheat flour, a teaspoon of smooth peanut butter, an egg, and a generous pinch each of baking soda and salt, and whisk it all well with a fork. Microwave the mug on high for two to three minutes, let it cool for a minute or two, and dig in. This punchy recipe can be adjusted endlessly: leave out the cocoa powder, add nuts or chocolate bits, or use olive oil instead of peanut butter.
Make breakfast smoothies more nutritious by tossing in a big handful of baby spinach. The greens make it super healthy, but won’t affect the taste because all the other goodies mask the spinach flavour completely. A few tablespoons of oats may mean you’ll have to blend it for longer, but the end result will be a lot more low-GI and filling than the usual sugary smoothie. Or try these gourmet smoothie ideas: strawberry smoothie, plum and pistachio nut smoothie.